Seminar – Ensuring Access to Common European MarketSeminars
The EU Integration Office of the Government of the Republic of Serbia proceeded, on Thursday and Friday, 27th and 28th November, at the Palace of Serbia, with the implementation of the seminar within the Programme entitled “Serbia and the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) with the EU” organised in cooperation with the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development ...
of the Federal Republic of Germany, InWEnt Agency and Institute for European Policy (IEP) in Berlin. The objective of this programme is to support the implementation of the SAA, and the seminar addresses the following topic: Ensuring the access to common European market – quality infrastructure system.
The principle of free movement of goods implies that within the common Eupropean market trade in products is free. For this to be ensured, a harmonised legal framework was developed to define conditions and key requirements that must be met so that industrial products could be placed on the EU market. Therefore, it is necessary for the potential candidates to harmonise their national legislation with the EU Acquis to ensure the access of their products on the common European market.
Furthermore, the development of adequate administrative capacities and a functional quality infrastructure system is necessary to apply horizontal and procedural measures in areas such as standardisation, conformity assessment, accreditation, metrology and market surveillance.
The seminar was opened by Jelena Popović, Assistant Minister in the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development, Sector for Compettitivness and Quality Infrastructure, on behalf of the Ministry of Economy and Regional Development of Serbia (MoERD), and she presented the current situation in Serbia as regards the harmonisation with the EU Acquis in the field of free movement of goods and technical standards. While talking about the existing situation and current activities of the MoERD, Jelena Popović described the existing legal framework, presented legislative activities for two laws that were being adopted: the Law on Technical Requirements for Products (LTRP) and the Law on Standardisation, and plans for transposing the EU Directives and preparation of the Action Plan for the development of technical regulations with measures relating to the implementation thereof.
The adoption of the Law on Technical Requirements for Products would create a legal basis for passing of sub-laws and technical regulations and the following: acts for the implementation of the laws (horizontal sub-laws, 3 decrees to be passed by the Government, one Regulation to be adopted by the Minister) and technical regulations (vertical sub-laws to transpose almost all of the New Approach Directives – 22, and majority of 1,000 sectoral Old Approach Directives), the regulations would be passed by the MoERD: 8 New Approach Directives (machines, low voltage equipment, electromagnetic compatibility, lifts, personal protective equipment, weighing instruments ...), sectoral Directives pertaining to wood, textile, footware... , other technical requirements for products from non-harmonised area at the EU level and all Regulations to be passed by other Ministries.
The Assistant Minister emphasised that the Action Plan for the development of technical regulations with measures for the implementation thereof (AP) would aim to:
*- establish a single register of all current technical regulations, i.e. to provide conditions for efficient provision of information about requirements to be met in order to place the product on the market – Information Centre in keeping with the requirements of the WTO and EU – Information Centre for home companies and trade inspection
*- take over the competences to implement, monitor, and propose changes of technical regulations (“ownership of a regulation”), i.e. designating a ministry in the scope of which the subject matter is governed by means of mandatory technical regulations and standards, as an inheritance from the period of Federation or State Union (to establish what would be the leading ministry as regards technical regulations falling within the scope of two or more ministries);
*- meet the requirements of the WTO, i.e. Agremment on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT Agreement) as regards abolishing mandatory implementation of standards, but to keep at the same time the necessary level of product safety by passing technical regulations;
*- review the relevance of all the current mandatory technical regulations and standards to develop and pass the new technical regulations that are needed;
*- establish a single register of authorised conformity assessment bodies for products with regulated requirements;
*- contribute to the implementation of the National Integration Programme -NIP (preparing to provide the conditions for comprehensive analysis of existing legislation to be harmonised with that of the EU – transposition of Directives).
Expected results of the AP are as follows:
- precisely governed system of technical regulations which implies:
clearly defined competences:
irrelevant and contradictory technical regulations were repealed
information/notification centre was established, while information about technical regulations and conformity assessment would be available in one place (at the MoERD)
- The implementation of all standards is voluntary:
repealing mandatory implementation of more than 8,000 standards as per the provisions of the Law on Technical Requirements for Products (LTRP)
singling out mandatory standards the requirements of which should remain mandatory (stand of competent ministries)
passing of technical regulations which primarily refer to standards – only about 5% of mandatory standards
- creating prerequisits for the efficient transposition of EU Directives in accordance with timeframe defined in the NIP.
In order to implement coordinationated activities of respective ministries and timely and full attainment of objectives of the Action Plan, there was a proposal to establish a Coordination Body for the implementation of the Action Plan, emphasised Jelena Popović.
By implementing the Action Plan and putting in place a legal framework harmonised with the Serbian legal system and WTO rules (the Law on Technical Requirements for Products and Conformity Assessment that was passed and the Law on Standardisation with accompanying sub-laws) will create the conditions for systematic regulation of markets as regards safety of products, highlighted the Assistant Minister at the opening of the seminar when she welcomed all the participants wishing them a successful participation in the seminar.
The focus of the seminar was on the development and operation of quality infrastructure system. The guests, Jan Rekman from the Institute for European Policy, Dr Joakim Tiele, member of the Secretariat of the Accreditation Council of Germany, and Dr Peter Vrtačnik from the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Slovenia, reviewed and presented the concepts and perspectives of the EU Acquis by analysing examples from both “old” and “new” EU Member States (Germany and Slovenia). The participants of the seminar were introduced to the experiences from Slovenia relating to the harmonisation of technical legislation in the pre-accession phase, and to experiences from Germany in the field of accreditation and conformity assessment.
Dr Joakim Tiele, member of the Secretariat of the Accreditation Council of Germany, introduced the present participants in detail to the accreditation system in Germany, role of accreditation in conformity assessment system and all steps taken by Germany with the aim of harmonising its system with the new EU legislation. The new EU Accreditation Regulation was presented, and principles of CE and P product marking were presented in detail.
Dr Peter Vrtačnik from the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Slovenia presented thoroughly the experiences from Slovenia in transposition and implementation of the EU Regulations, and Slovenian conformity assessment procedures. These processes occur at governmental, ministerial and expert levels. In this regard a good action plan is needed to monitor the priorities of a country. Clear elements of the national quality infrastructure were emphasised: technical legislation, standardisation, accreditation, conformity assessment, metrology, and market surveillance. Vast experiences from Slovenia should be taken into consideration in the process of harmonisation of technical legislation in Serbia.
The participants were encouraged to actively participate in the discussion and thus better assess what would be an adequate approach to be taken by Serbia. The following participants took part in the seminar on behalf of the Accreditation Board of Serbia: Dr Dejan Krnjaić, Vida Živković, MSc, Natalija Jovičić Zarić, MSc, Radmila Guntrum and Radivoje Nikoličić.
Development of a national accreditation, Experiences from Germany, Revision of the national accreditation system -Joachima Thiele, BAM Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing Accreditation and Conformity Assessment, Berlin, Germany
Free Movement of Goods - Implementation and Functioning of the Quality Infrastructure I, Dr Peter Vrtačnik’s presentation, Ministry of Economy, Slovenia
Free Movement of Goods - Implementation and Functioning of the Quality Infrastructure II, Dr Peter Vrtačnik’s presentation, Ministry of Economy, Slovenia
Free Movement of Goods - Implementation and Functioning of the Quality Infrastructure III, Dr Peter Vrtačnik’s presentation, Ministry of Economy, Slovenia
Mila Ćipović-Gligorić, EU Integration Office, Jan Rekman, Institute for European Policy in Berlin, Jelena Popović, MoERD Assistant Minister, Dr Joakim Tiele, Secretariat of the Accreditation Council of Germany
Dr Peter Vrtačnik, Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Slovenia
Dr Dejan Krnjaić and Vida Živković, MSc
Dr Dejan Krnjaić, Natalija Jovičić Zarić, MSc and Radmila Guntrum